By Beth Dow, Home Helpers of GA & AL

There is a quote that goes something like this: “Lack of Planning on Your Part Does Not Constitute an Emergency on my Part.”

Oh, if only that was true.  But time and time again I see how the lack of planning on the parent’s part does create an emergency for their adult children.

October is Long Term Care Planning Month.  If you are the parent of an adult child, the best gift you can give your adult child today is a plan for your tomorrow.  As we age, tomorrow is often something we just don’t want to think about.

Now we will plan vacations.  And we will plan for a party.  But to plan for life after we are no longer able to vacation or party, what fun is that?  It’s not. But just like going to the dentist is not fun, (sorry Dr. Yancy) it is something that you need to do. This month, I am asking that if you can’t find the time to plan for you, then you take the time to plan for your children.

Our adult children have so much on their plates and believe it or not, they do worry about you.  You can help ease that worry by sitting down with them and developing a plan so both of you will be ready when the inevitable happens.

So how do you start?  You can start with an email, text or phone call.  Just tell them that you have been thinking that it would be best if you were both on the same page about what needs to happen if a health emergency occurs, and to discuss your wishes of how and where you want to live as you age.  Ask if they would be up for a conversation.  Set a date for the conversation and get ready.  (It is very important to set a date for this meeting.  Don’t just agree to have it some time in the future.  Put a date and time to it.)

To the meeting, you need to bring information about any insurance policies, especially Long-Term Care insurance policies.  You need to bring information about bank accounts, savings accounts, CDs, loans, etc.  Your adult child needs to have a good understanding about where you are financially.  I know this will be hard but it is necessary, so there are no surprises later.

Next, talk about who your power of attorney should be or is, and be sure that your POA understands exactly what you want medically and financially.  Their purpose is to do things the way YOU want them done in the absence of your ability to do them.

Then have a big honest talk about where you want to live.  Is it feasible for you to stay in your home?  Remember, the older you are, the bigger the physical and mental toll moving takes on you.  You may not want to postpone your move to when you MUST move.  It may be best to make the move now, to lessen the impact it makes later.

Remember the better the plan, the better able you and your children are to handle the unexpected.  Don’t put it off.  Make a plan today, for you and your adult children.

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Beth Dow is the owner of Home Helpers and Direct Link of GA & AL. For more information, you can reach her at 678-876-5118 or visit their website: local.homehelpershomecare.com/newnanga/home.